Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Time to Go Inwards

The year has come to a close, summer and spring’s fertile energy of growth and productivity has decayed away; the energy of the land is no longer geared towards outward displays. A soft wet darkness has taken hold and it is time to go inwards.

Inwards into our soil, closer to our souls, the dark and non-verbal place of feeling, where the language older than words sings to us and we find the voice of who we are, the seeds that wish to be grown into our lives.

A threshold opens up on the land, inviting a whole new way of being, a way that is as ancient as the earth’s bones but which goes against the modern cultural narrative of busyness, youth and productivity. And because of this, many struggle with the invitation the wild gives us at this time.

For perhaps those that struggle have depended on certain ways of being that give them external validation, or perhaps they haven’t learnt how to sit in quietude with themselves and fear what they will find there.

Yet the wild shows us over and over that we are cyclical beings, ever changing and shifting so we can live a healthful life; that the inner journey is just as vital as the outer.

This time is an invitation to drop all that isn’t you or what stands in the way of your becoming, and like a heavy cloak, let it compost away, so you can come nearer to your own magic.

This is a death, a death of old ways, given up as a gift, so we can grow.

– Brigit Anna McNeill
via Facebook
October 31, 2023

Related Off-site Link:
Kahlil Gibran on Silence, Solitude, and the Courage to Know Yourself – Maria Popova (The Marginalian, November 21, 2019).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Brigit Anna McNeill on Hearing the Wild and Natural Call to Go Inwards
Brigit Anna McNeill on “Winter’s Way”
Brigit Anna McNeill on the Meaning of Winter Solstice Time
To Dream, to Feel, to Listen
Autumnal Thoughts and Visions
October Vignettes
November Musings
Winter of Content
Balancing the Fire
The Autumn Garden
Autumn: Season of Transformation and Surrender
Autumn . . . Within and Beyond (2021)
Autumn . . . Within and Beyond (2018)
Autumn . . . Within and Beyond (2016)
O Sacred Season of Autumn
“Thou Hast Thy Music Too”
Autumn Psalm
“This Autumn Land Is Dreaming”
Autumn’s “Wordless Message”
Autumnal (and Rather Pagan) Thoughts on the Making of “All Things New”
Thomas Moore on the Circling of Nature as the Best Way to Find Our Substance
A Prayer of Anchoring
In the Midst of the “Great Unraveling,” a Visit to the Prayer Tree
A Sacred Pause
Aligning With the Living Light
Mystical Participation
Threshold Musings
Stepping Out of Time and Resting Your Mind
In the Stillness and Silence of This Present Moment
The Beauty and Challenge of Being Present in the Moment
Resting in the Presence of the Beloved
Samhain: A Time of Magick and Mystery
At Hallowtide, Pagan Thoughts on Restoring Our World and Our Souls
Resilience and Hope
Hallowtide Reflections
An All Hallows Eve Reflection
Halloween Thoughts

Image: Michael J. Bayly.

October Vignettes

NEXT: November Vignettes

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
October Afternoon
Saaxiib Qurux Badan – October 1, 2023
Autumnal Thoughts and Visions (2022)
Autumn . . . Within and Beyond (2021)
Something to Think About – October 31, 2022
The End Is Not the End
Samhain: A Time of Magick and Mystery
At Hallowtide, Pagan Thoughts on Restoring Our World and Our Souls
Resilience and Hope
Hallowtide Reflections
An All Hallows Eve Reflection
Halloween Thoughts
A Hallowtide Reflection
Autumn Snowburst (2020)
First Snowfall (2011)
A Snowy October Day (2009)

See also:
September Vignettes
August Vignettes
July Vignettes
June Vignettes
May Vignettes
April Vignettes

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

Monday, October 23, 2023

A Prayer of Anchoring

I turn 58 today, and as has been the tradition at The Wild Reed, I mark the occasion of my birthday by sharing a song, prayer and/or reflection that I find particularly meaningful; that speaks to where I’m at on my journey.*

This year I’ve decided to share a prayer by Joyce Rupp from her book Return to the Root: Reflections on the Inner Life. Rupp is a gifted and prolific writer of spiritual material, most notably of prayers. In my work as a hospital chaplain I sometimes draw on prayers she’s written and either use then directly or in an adapted form with my patients.

The prayer of Joyce Rupp’s that I share today is entitled “A Prayer of Anchoring.” I’m drawn to it as with everything going on in the world right now, along with some things I’m dealing with in my personal life, I’m feeling the need to be centered – or, as Rupp says, anchored – in God in a very consistent and intentional way. Rupp’s prayer beautifully speaks to this desire, this need.


A Prayer of Anchoring

I turn to you, Holy One,
in this time of turmoil
amid the waters of life and I pray:

Anchor my mind in your unswerving serenity
that lies beneath the wild waves of my discontent.

Anchor every heartbeat and breath of mine
in the wide ocean of your endless compassion.

Anchor ongoing longings for world peace
in the stream of your eternal harmony.

Anchor a respect for every human being
in the clear waters of your non-judgment.

Anchor in the steady undercurrent of your justice
each choice to end unbearable injustice.

Anchor deeply in your merciful forgiveness
any inner surges toward retaliation and revenge.

Anchor the best of my talents and abilities
to serve generously in the reservoir of your grace.

Anchor in the depths of your divine wisdom
my questions and concerns about the future.

Anchor every storm that riles my heart
in the gracious tranquility of your abiding love.


Lately I’ve been feeling somewhat adrift; not as centered and balanced as I know I can be and have been in the past. I know exactly what I need to do about this, and that is to develop and practice discipline in both my physical and spiritual life. Because I’m aware that the development of any kind of disciplined practice takes both focus and time, I’ve decided to take a hiatus from blogging for the next month or so as I work on establishing a physical exercise regime and a more consistent spiritual practice, one involving daily morning meditation. (Of course, this is not the first time I've taken a break from working on The Wild Reed. See, for instance, here, here, here and here.)

I know from experience that regular physical exercise and daily meditation works wonders in centering my mind, body and spirit in an awareness of the Divine Presence – the Living Light – within and around me. Such awareness is transformative.

Something else that centers me in an awareness of God is time spent with loved ones, with people who make a positive and transformative difference in my life. In celebrating my 58th birthday, I spent time with a number of such people, as you’ll see in the following images.

Above: My birthday celebrations got off to an early start with a wonderful brunch with my friends Rick (left) and Brian at Keys Café and Bakery in Roseville on Friday, October 20.

Above: Friends Tim and Colleen – Saturday, October 21, 2023. That’s Fiona, their Great Dane, in bed for the night on the couch.

Left: With Tim.

Tim and I were housemates from 2012-2018. (For some great pics of our time together, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.)

Above: With my friend Adnan – Sunday, October 22, 2023.

Above: A birthday eve dinner with friends (from left) John, Scott, Alicia, Dee, Phil, Liana, Amelia, and Noelle – Sunday, October 22, 2023.

Above: Pictured this morning celebrating my birthday with my wonderful colleagues on the interdisciplinary Palliative Care team at Mercy Hospital. I serve as the interfaith spiritual health provider (or chaplain) on this team.

From left: Nikki, Steph, Kari, Kate, Maddie and me. Another member of our team, Jenna, was away today.

Above: With members of Mercy Hospital’s Spiritual Care department. From left: Deanna, Aaron, Stephanie, Barson and me – October 23, 2023.

Above: Autumn beauty – today, Monday, October 23, 2023.

POSTSCRIPT: The celebrations continue! . . .

Above: With my Palliative Care team colleagues at Tandoor, an Indian restaurant in Maple Grove, MN – Wednesday, October 25, 2023. From left: Nikki, Kari, Steph, Maddie, me, and Kate.

Above: With my dear friend Joan at Hai Hai, a Southeast Asian restaurant in Minneapolis – Thursday, October 26, 2023.

Above: With my friends (and downstairs neighbors) Kathleen, Joseph and Calvin – Saturday, October 28, 2023.

With it being the Halloween weekend, we watched the first episode of the 2016 supernatural drama The Living and Dead. Set in rural England in the late 1800s, this BBC production is described by Noelle K. Bowles as “a complex tale of grief and horror that weaves its threads from violent personal and national history.”

Above: With my friend Angie at the Good Earth restaurant in The Galleria in Edina, MN – Sunday, October 29, 2023.


* As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it’s somewhat of a tradition to mark my birthday here at The Wild Reed by sharing a song or prayer or reflection that I find particularly meaningful. On my 44th birthday, for instance, I shared Stephan Gately’s performance of “No Matter What,” and when I turned 45 I shared “Where the Truth Lies” by the band Exchange.

In 2012, when I turned 47, I shared a prayer for balance at a very trying time, not only for myself, but for many of us here in Minnesota.

Seven years ago, on the first day of my fiftieth year, I shared a “guidepost on the journey,” and then one year later on the day of my 50th birthday, I shared Buffy Sainte-Marie’s rousing “It’s My Way.”

In 2017, when I turned 52, I shared a poem by John O’Donohue; while on my 53rd birthday I shared “Love Is,” a beautiful meditation on the mystery of love by my favorite male vocalist Carl Anderson.

The year I turned 54 I shared “This Is the Time,” a beautiful song by Senegalese singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daby Touré, and when I turned 55 it was Black’s “Wonderful Life” that encapsulated much of what I found myself experiencing at that time.

When I turned 56 I shared Dusty Springfield’s reflective recording “Home to Myself,” while last year on my 57th birthday I shared the song “The Long Ride Home” by Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Deeper Understandings
Home to Myself
Moments of Wonder
This Is the Time
With Love Inside
On This “Echoing-Day” of My Birth
Turning 50
A Guidepost on the Journey
In the Eye of the Storm, a Tree of Living Flame
Journeying Into the Truth . . . Valiantly, of Course
No Matter What

See also:
Shining On . . . Into the New Year
In the Midst of the “Great Unraveling,” a Visit to the Prayer Tree
A Sacred Pause
Aligning With the Living Light
Mystical Participation
Threshold Musings
Stepping Out of Time and Resting Your Mind
In the Stillness and Silence of This Present Moment
The Beauty and Challenge of Being Present in the Moment
Today I Will Be Still
Cultivating Stillness
I Need Do Nothing . . . I Am Open to the Living Light
Dwelling in Peace
Finding Balance in the Presence of the Beloved
Your Peace Is With Me, Beloved One
Resting in the Presence of the Beloved

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Voices of Reason and Compassion on the Crisis in Israel and Gaza

Today I share a compilation of perspectives and voices on the ongoing crisis in Israel and Gaza. I consider all of these voices to be ones of both reason and compassion. I hope you do too.

I start with Democracy Now!’s October 17 interview with Daniel Levy, president of the U.S./Middle East Project and a former Israeli peace negotiator.

[T]his choir of incitement . . . is the road to hell for everyone. If Israel is going to exist in that part of the world, then it has tied its fate to the Palestinians in that part of the world. And it cannot be zero-sum, because what we are doing is just creating more and more hatred. And [we need to] step back from that; not propel [ourselves] further into it.

. . . [We need to] step back from the brink in the immediate term, and then get to grips with the fact that Palestinians, who live without hope, rights, the ability to plan a future, are not going to succumb to that. It doesn’t justify anything, but we have been warning for years that this will explode, and it has. And now we need a different approach.

The violence in Gaza and Israel is bringing horrifying new levels of human suffering to both Israelis and Palestinians.

Both sides have committed heinous violations of international law, and all attacks on civilians must be condemned. But if we’re serious about preventing such horrors in the future, we have to go beyond condemnation.

A lesson we ignore at our peril is that oppression undermines not only the rights, dignity, and lives of the oppressed, but eventually the security of the oppressors as well. The apartheid system that’s been suffocating Palestinians for so long is now also undermining the safety of ordinary Israeli civilians. They’ve become victims of the same system.

We can’t understand how we got here – or how to end the crisis – until we grapple with the immensity of Palestinian suffering. And for us in the United States, it means confronting the role our government and tax dollars play in enabling that oppression to continue.

Explosions of violence never just happen. Since 2007, Gazans have lived under siege, prohibited from leaving their open air prison by a high-security militarized wall and platoons of Israeli soldiers.

Well before the latest escalation, the transit of most goods was banned. Gazans couldn’t get construction materials to repair the apartment blocks, power plants, water treatment facilities, hospitals, school, mosques, and churches that Israel bombed repeatedly – in 2008, 2012, 2014, 2018, and 2021.

Emergency medical permits were often denied, leaving many Gazans to die without care.

Electricity was already limited. A 72-year-old woman in Gaza told a reporter last January, “It is hard to imagine, but we used to experience 24 hours of electricity each day in Gaza; now we are lucky if we get six.”

Water was already unavailable except by expensive purchases from Israeli water companies. And food has long been scarce — by the age of two, 20 percent of Gaza’s children are already stunted.

Now that long-running siege is much worse.

On October 9, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called for a “total siege” of Gaza. “No electricity, no food, no water, no gas – it’s all closed,” he said. For Gaza’s already impoverished and malnourished population, that’s not just collective punishment – it’s genocide.

. . . For decades, Palestinian resistance has taken overwhelmingly non-violent forms. But the world didn’t hear – or if it heard, it didn’t answer. When the UN warned in 2012 and 2015 that by 2020 Gaza would be “unlivable” without a “herculean effort” by the international community, the world didn’t respond.

This time the resistance took a violent form, including Hamas targeting civilians in horrifying and illegal ways. Those illegitimate acts must be condemned. But if we’re serious about preventing violence – all violence – we need to remember they didn’t come out of nowhere.

We need to change the conditions from which this brutality sprang.

– Phyllis Bennis
Excerpted from “The Answer to Hamas’ Brutality
Is Not to Eviscerate Innocent Palestinians

Foreign Policy in Focus via Common Dreams
October 13, 2023

The most immediate need right now is for a deescalation. World leaders, and specifically the U.S. and the Biden administration, need to understand that this is not a retaliation by Israel towards Hamas. What we are seeing now is the effort by Israel to pursue an ethnic cleansing campaign and to continue the Nakba, which began in 1948 and which has been ongoing since, in fits and starts, here and there. What we’re seeing is a massive rupture in the daily ethnic cleansing that Israeli authorities are going – are implementing against the Palestinians in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, as well as in the Gaza Strip. And now we’re seeing that rupture take the ethnic cleansing campaign from a daily continual basis into a significantly more focused attempt at getting rid of millions of Palestinians. We need to deescalate, and we need to ensure that humanitarian aid comes into the Gaza Strip, because this is impacting Gaza’s civilian population. This is a starting step.

The next step needs to be an acknowledgment that Israel is an apartheid regime that is maintaining a system of domination against millions of Palestinians. It’s the only sovereign power in the land of historic Palestine, and it allows rights only to Israeli Jewish citizens, not to Palestinians. What happened on October 7th is a testament to the fact that that reality cannot go on. And that overturned the assumption that the U.S. administration as well as regional powers have always had, which is that Israel can continue to act with impunity, without any cost to its citizens. And I believe we cannot go back to that paradigm anymore.

– Tareq Baconi
Excerpted from “‘Divide and Rule’: How Israel Helped Start
Hamas to Weaken Palestinian Hopes for Statehood

Democracy Now!
October 20, 2023

Marc Lamont Hill recently interviewed former Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. During this interview, Ayalon told Hill that Israel will stop blockading vital resources to Gaza only if and when Hamas surrenders. As Michael Walker of Novara Media points out in the video below, Hill responded by noting that what Ayalon outlined constitutes collective punishment, a violation of international law.

Humanitarian corridors must be established immediately. The siege must end, and power be restored immediately so hospitals can be more than graveyards. Gazan civilians and foreign nationals must be given safe passage. There are surely phone calls going back and forth among world leaders today – including Europeans and Arabs – seeking desperately to broker some kind of humanitarian solution, to create a ceasefire and restore delivery of water, food and medical supplies.

Hamas is not the Palestinian people; in fact, Hamas displays dictatorial power over their own people in Gaza. Yet innocent Palestinians as well as Israelis are already paying a terrible price for what has happened, and their safety must be as high a priority for the world as should the safety of innocent Israelis.

Hamas has announced it will start executing the 150 hostages one by one if Israel takes military action against Gaza, leaving the hostage’s loved ones and the entire nation of Israel in a state of horrifying trauma. No person of good will anywhere in the world wants those hostages executed. The hatred spawned by such insanity would only increase the hostility that already exists between far too many Israelis and Palestinians – two peoples who we should remember lived in peace for centuries, and hopefully will live in peace together again someday. One of the tragic consequences of this situation is how many Palestinians and Israelis have worked for years to forge a better way – only to see their dreams of peace be shattered by what has occurred.

As President, in the years leading up to this I would have been far more active on behalf of an effort to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Supporting Israel militarily yet not playing an active role in emphasizing the need for Palestinian justice was a failure of American leadership and a transgression against our own values. Once Trump was out of office, I would have moved the U.S. Embassy back to Tel Aviv. I would not have allowed the Abraham Accords to minimize the cause of justice for Palestinians. I would have demanded justice for Shireen Abu Akleh. I would have demanded that no military assistance provided to Israel – created by a Congressional Memorandum of Understanding that extends until 2028 – be used in a way that supports the occupation of the West Bank, the settlements, or the blockade of Gaza. I would have stated my opposition to all three. I would have worked assiduously with Middle East peace builders both there and here. I would have supported all efforts to create the resurrection of plans for a two-state solution. I would have used American power to side with our highest ally: humanity itself.

– Marianne Williamson
Excerpted from “Israel and Hamas:
An Eye for an Eye Leaves Everyone Dead

October 13, 2023

Above: Jewish-led protesters hold a "ceasefire" banner during an October 16, 2023 demonstration outside the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo: IfNotNow/X)

Thank you all for being here. I have never seen anything like this in my history of Jewish anti-Zionist activism. It’s been decades. We used to be tiny. We are huge and growing.

We have a sacred responsibility to engage with our parents, our grandparents, our uncles, our brothers and sisters, and try to save their souls, to keep them from indulging in this quest for bloody vengeance. We are here because we will not let our fears of antisemitism be manipulated in this way, as cover for war crimes and colonial land grabs and to foreclose on the possibility of a political solution, which will only come with an end to occupation, with an end to apartheid, with true Palestinian freedom and self-determination. We will not use the fact that many of our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents were refugees from genocide to justify making hundreds of thousands or even millions of new Palestinian refugees.

These are not our leaders, not in the Knesset, with its so-called unity government, and not here in Congress, which reconvenes now in part in order to approve new money and new weapons to send to Israel for its genocidal attack on Palestinians.

Israeli journalist Amira Hass (left), who has reported from the occupied West Bank and Gaza for over 30 years, was interviewed October 20 by Democracy Now! about her participation in the recent historic protest in Washington, D.C., led by American Jewish groups, calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Hass also spoke about the events leading up to the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, the ongoing hostage situation, and what could come next.

[The Washington D.C. protest] was an expression of common grief and shock of people, of Jews, whose main two slogans were “Not in our name” and “Ceasefire immediately.” And for me, it was very important to be there. So I was there as a person, as an individual, as a Jew, not as a journalist. There were quite a few Israelis that I know that live or study these days in the States.

And it was also, you know, like, we all need some kind of – this kind of support, which, by the way, Palestinians are not allowed to hold. Jews are allowed to hold demonstrations. I understand that all over Europe there are places where Palestinians are not allowed to hold demonstrations in solidarity with their slain people in Palestine. So, here, again, we are privileged, the Jews, that we can do things that Palestinians are not allowed to, though I know that here there were some. In the States, there were some demonstrations of Palestinians. But Palestinians are being silenced . . . their sense of grief is not being respected. They are called supporters of terror, whatever. And I was in Boston just before, and I could tell that even the word “Palestinian” is not allowed to be used in all kind of official statements.

I can very much identify with a feeling of being ostracized by the whole world as a Jew, of being not listened to. . . . [T]his indifference that the world shows to Palestinians, Palestinians’ plight, Palestinians’ ordeal is so shocking. And I, as a Jew, I say, and [as] the child of survivors and the grandchild of Jews who were murdered by Nazi Germany – my anger and despair . . . grow larger by the day, by the minute.

– Amira Hass
Excerpted from “Israeli Journalist Amira Hass,
Daughter of Holocaust Survivors, Calls for Gaza Ceasefire

Democracy Now!
October 20, 2023

Josh Paul (right) was Director of Congressional and Public Affairs at the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. Paul says he had made a promise to himself when he joined over a decade ago that he would stay “as long as I felt the harm I might do could be outweighed by the good I could do.”

Paul recently resigned from the bureau that oversees arms transfers to foreign nations, citing his objection to continued U.S. military assistance to Israel as its retaliatory bombardment and blockade of Gaza exacerbate a humanitarian crisis there.

Following is Paul’s October 19 appearance on PBS Newshour and an excerpt from Rachel Treisman’s NPR News story about Paul’s resignation.

The difference here is that in all of those [other] cases [of arms transfers to a number of unsavory regimes] – when those within the department and the inter-agency with human rights concerns had done all the shaping they could – you knew the next step was for the sale to go to Congress where it would be held, debated, even voted against,” Josh Paul explained. “But with Israel, it’s a blank check from Congress. There’s no appetite for debate. There’s no real debate internal to the administration. And then there’s no one to hand the debate off to.”

Paul said the first thing he’d like the Biden administration to do is “simply follow their own public commitments.”

Paul explains that the administration’s new conventional arms transfer policy, enacted earlier this year, explicitly states that no transfers will be authorized under which the U.S. assesses that “it is more likely than not that the arms to be transferred will be used by the recipient to commit, facilitate the recipients’ commission of, or to aggravate risks that the recipient will commit: genocide; crimes against humanity; grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.”

Those include attacks directed against civilians and other serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law, including acts of violence against children.

“So I think for us to look at the current situation and say the answer is as many bombs as Israel asks for, knowing that their use will lead in a direction exactly opposite to our stated policy goals . . . it’s disappointing, to say the least,” Paul said.

– Rachel Treisman
Excerpted from “Josh Paul, Former State Department Official
Explains Why He Resigned Over U.S. Arms Sent to Israel

NPR News
October 19, 2023

In the following Rising segment, hosts Briahna Joy Gray and Robby Soave respond to Egyptian comedian and TV talk show host Bassem Youssef’s recent appearance on Piers Morgan’s program in which he shared what he would say to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he was an Israeli citizen.

For Zionist believers (I’m not one of them), Jew-hatred is the central rationale for why Israel must exist as a nuclear-armed fortress. Within this worldview, anti-semitism is cast as a primordial force that cannot be weakened or confronted. The world will always turn away from us in our hour of need, Zionism tells us, just as it did during the Holocaust, which is why force alone is presented as the only conceivable response to any and all threats.

The Israeli state’s current murderous leveling of Gaza is the latest, unspeakably horrific manifestation of this ideology, and there will be more in the coming days. The responsibility for these crimes of collective punishment rests solely with their perpetrators and their financial and military backers abroad. But we all have to figure out how to make it stop.

So how do we confront this violent ideology? For one thing, we can recognize that when Israeli Jews are killed in their homes and it is celebrated by people who claim to be anti-racists and anti-fascists, that is experienced as antisemitism by a great many Jews. And antisemitism (besides being hateful) is the rocket fuel of militant Zionism.

What could lessen its power, drain it of some of that fuel? True solidarity. Humanism that unites people across ethnic and religious lines. Fierce opposition to all forms of identity-based hatred, including antisemitism. An international left rooted in values that side with the child over the gun every single time, no matter whose gun and no matter whose child. A left that is unshakably morally consistent, and does not mistake that consistency with moral equivalency between occupier and occupied. Love.

It’s certainly worth a try. In these difficult times, I’d like to be part of a left like that.

– Naomi Klein
Excerpted from “In Gaza and Israel,
Side With the Child Over the Gun

The Guardian
October 11, 2023

Amid the death and destruction from the shower of bombs dropping on Gaza like rain, truly the thing that has forever changed me is seeing how the world is turning into a hate mob against a civilian population, a majority of whom are refugees, the majority of whom are children, all of whom have been living besieged for 16 years. It is the media coverage priming the public to accept mass atrocities by using hateful and racist rhetoric that has left me feeling the most hopeless and scared. This incendiary and dehumanizing language used to describe Palestinians is going to contribute to genocide in Gaza and increasing violence against Muslims in the U.S., like the stabbing to death of Wadea Al-Fayoume, a Palestinian 6-year-old in Illinois.

We need to change the trajectory now. We need to call for an immediate ceasefire and deescalation to prevent imminent genocide. The U.S. government is actively fueling violence by sending more weapons to Israel and this must stop. We need to open borders to allow medical aid, food and water into Gaza. We need to shatter the false premise that Israel can only exist for Jewish people at the expense of displacing, subjugating, controlling and killing Palestinians as it has for over 75 years. Everything possible needs to be done to condemn this indiscriminate violence against a trapped population of 2 million people who are now completely cut off from the world.

Our old and young are being killed, but we will never forget.

استودعتك غزةعائلتنا وأطفالنا يا الله، ربي رب السموات والارض

“I have entrusted my beloved Gaza, our family and our sweet children to God, creator of the world and the heavens.”

– Dana Elborno
Excerpted from “More Than 1,000 Gazan Children Are Dead.
How Can We Even Begin to Mourn?

October 17, 2023

And finally, Maoz Inon is an Israeli peace activist who lost both of his parents, Bilha and Yakovi Inon (right), on the first day of the Hamas attacks.

Maoz was interviewed October 18 by Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman. Following is part of what he said.

I’m overwhelmed with what happened to me and to my family and to my community and classmates, friends in our community, Israeli communities around Gaza. Nothing prepared me for this moment that I would be here speaking with you about my tragedy. I wished I was speaking with you about the initiatives, the peace and shared society initiatives I’ve been taking part in in the last 20 years. And honestly, I’m overwhelmed with everything that’s going on.

My parents were loving people and an amazing couple, really adored and admired by their colleagues, their friends, their community, and of course by us, my five brothers and sisters and the 11 grandchildren. They didn’t want to harm anyone. They didn’t want to fight with anyone. We have close and very tight relationship – we call it even a family relationship – with the Bedouin in the Negev. I have many friends, colleagues, partners in Palestine, in Jordan, in Egypt. And what’s happening now is just devastating. It’s just devastating.

. . . Me and my family, we seek no revenge. We just seek peace. We seek for hope. We must change the terminology we are using to positive terminology, for reconciliation, for recognition, for partnership and for peace. I’m crying, and I’m begging you. Just will their wellness, not to blame anyone, just to stop the war and to build a different future, to break the cycle of blood, to break this game of blood and to build a new future with hope.

. . . Of course I’m against the occupation. But it’s irrelevant at the moment. . . . I’m afraid there will be many, many more victims. And what we all should be focusing now is to stop the war. Very simple message. And we must cry it. We must cry our message to everyone that has a heart and that can listen.

Quote of the Day: Ta-Nehisi Coates
– November 2, 2023

More Voices of Reason and Compassion
on the Crisis in Israel and Gaza

Related Off-site Links:
What Is a War Crime, and Who Gets Held Accountable? – Scott Neuman (NPR News, October 20, 2023).
How U.S. Media Legitimise Israel’s Barbarism Against the Palestinians – Gregory Shupak (Middle East Eye, October 20, 2023).
Israeli Journalist Amira Hass: How Can the World Stand By and Witness Israel’s Slaughter in Gaza?Democracy Now! (October 19, 2023).
Annexation, Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide: Mustafa Barghouti Decries Israel’s Deadly Campaign in GazaDemocracy Now! (October 19, 2023).
Palestinians Trapped in Gaza Find Nowhere Is Safe During Israel’s Relentless BombingAP News via MPR News (October 19, 2023).
Ceasefire in Gaza Now – Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan (Democracy Now!, October 19, 2023).
“Not In Our Name!” Hundreds Arrested at U.S. Capitol as Jewish-Led Protest Demands Gaza Cease-Fire – Brett Wilkins (Common Dreams, October 18, 2023).
800+ Legal Scholars Say Israel May Be Perpetrating “Crime of Genocide” in Gaza – Jake Johnson (Common Dreams, October 18, 2023).
U.N. Rapporteur for Palestine: Gaza War Risks “Largest Instance of Ethnic Cleansing” in Mideast HistoryDemocracy Now! (October 18, 2023).
Selective Empathy Is Not Empathetic at All – Belén Fernández (Al Jazeera via Common Dreams, October 17, 2023).
Hospitals in Gaza Face Collapse as Water, Power and Medicine Run Out – Najib Jobain, Samya Kullab and Joseph Krauss (AP News, October 16, 2023).
As Gaza Turmoil Deepens, Some Leaders Dial Back Pro-Israel Rhetoric – But Won’t Call for Cease-Fire – Julia Conley (Common Dreams, October 15, 2023).
Gaza Is a Prison Under Siege. This Is My Letter to the World Outside – Ahmed Abu Artema (TruthOut, October 15, 2023).
The Outside World Must Walk Israel Back from the Abyss. It Cannot Be Part of the Choir of Incitement – Daniel Levy and Zaha Hassan (The Irish Times, October 14, 2023).
“Humanity Must Prevail” in Gaza, Says UN Official as Refugee Shelters Become Israeli Defense Force Targets – Julia Conley (Common Dreams, October 14, 2023).
“A Textbook Case of Genocide”: Israeli Holocaust Scholar Raz Segal Decries Israel’s Assault on GazaDemocracy Now! (October 16, 2023).
I Wish Americans Could See the Humanity of Palestinians as They Do With Israelis – Sa’ed Atshan (TruthOut, October 13, 2023).

UPDATES: “Nowhere in Gaza Is Safe”: Palestinian Death Toll Tops 5,000 as Israel Rejects Calls for CeasefireDemocracy Now! (October 23, 2023).
Scores of UN Workers and Journalists Killed in Israel’s Indiscriminate Strikes on Gaza – Brett Wilkins (Common Dreams, October 23, 2023).
Not in My Brother’s Name: Sibling of Peace Activist Killed by Hamas Demands Israel Stop Bombing GazaDemocracy Now! (October 23, 2023).
Sky News Apologises for Palestine Blunder by Kay BurleyNovara Media (October 24, 2023).
Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Groups That Give Me Hope When Killing and War Abound – Rob Okun (Common Dreams, October 24, 2023).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
In the Midst of the “Great Unraveling,” a Visit to the Prayer Tree
Prayer of the Week – October 16, 2023
Something to Think About – October 12, 2023
Eric Levitz: Quote of the Day – October 11, 2023
Phyllis Bennis: “If We Are Serious About Ending This Spiraling Violence, We Need to Look at Root Causes”
“Nothing About Today is ‘Unprovoked’”
“The Mistreatment and Discrimination Against Palestinians Is Not Unprecedented. It’s Baked Into the Foundation of the Political System in Israel”
Progressive Perspectives on the Ongoing Israeli-Palestinian “Nightmare” (2021)
Something to Think About – July 29, 2018
Noura Erakat: Quote of the Day – May 15, 2018
For Some Jews, Israel’s Treatment of Palestinians is Yet Another Jewish Tragedy
Remembering the Six-Day War and Its Ongoing Aftermath
David Norris: Quote of the Day – August 12, 2014

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Marianne Williamson: “We Need to Disrupt the Corrupt”

Author and Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson recently appeared on The Michael Steele Network podcast where she talked about the role the DNC should be playing in the 2024 election, why she’s rising in the polls with Gen Z voters, how her 2024 campaign is different from her 2020 one, and why her “disrupt the corrupt” platform is seeing her shut out of the mainstream media. She also addressed the ongoing tragedies occurring in Israel and Gaza.

Michael Steele is an attorney, political commentator, and former politician who served as the seventh lieutenant governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007 and as chairperson of the Republican National Committee (RNC) from 2009 until 2011; he was the first African-American to hold either office. Steele was openly critical of Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and has continued to oppose President Trump during and after his subsequent administration.

As I’ve said previously, I wish Marianne’s voice and message could be heard on a regular basis on the mainstream Sunday morning talk shows. Yet sadly the corporate media/DNC blackout of her candidacy continues.

Following are some comments on Michael Steele’s conversation with Marianne that have been posted on YouTube.

• Marianne’s as smart as a whip, and I appreciate that Michael doesn’t treat her in a hostile, adversarial manner. Her spiritual background gives her a wise perspective and grasp of the human condition. I would love to see her message resonate with a critical mass of people: a major waking up.

• Marianne has some really great points that should be in the daily narrative. If only we had a serious media and not a clown show.

• I gotta admit, I never took her seriously. But as a 54-year-old woman with student debt (and no degree), no job (I need to work from home due to health issues), and chronic auto-immune issues, she’s right about college and Obamacare. Yes, Obama helped. . . . BUT, healthcare was still left in the hands of Big Insurance, and while a step better, it’s no prize. She has great points. . . . I needed a job, and I took what I could get, which bit me hard the following year. Employment numbers don’t count the folks who are looking, but have limits. I fell out of the system a while ago. So, the system is a mess. Folks like me are unseen. Bidenomics is not helping when one trip to a grocery store can be $200 for a few bags of groceries. We need help, for sure.

• Thanks for engaging with Marianne. She has the bluntness to express the views of the working citizens. Some have worked for poverty wages for many generations. It is past time to realize we all deserve opportunities to thrive. That means a living wage for all jobs is necessary for all to see a future where thriving instead of surviving is the norm. We must make government adapt rules of capitalism that bring humanity back into the equation. The role of the government is to raise the quality of life for all citizens, not for the rich and wealthy to enjoy all the benefits of an economy.

• I think the Democratic people would welcome an additional viable candidate for president. I have no doubt that she is that candidate. I will be the first to admit, that until the show I never knew she existed. I’m sure that there are many others like me. She needs to get exposure in the biggest way. She needs a war chest.

I close by sharing the October 19 message that Marianne sent from the campaign trail to her supporters, myself included.


Dear Michael,

As I travel across this country, I speak to folks across the political spectrum, and I find that they have much more in common than we usually think. Whether they are conservatives, liberals, or anything else, they are all concerned about the corruption of our democracy and the influence of big money drowning out the voices of the working class.

The media makes us think that the most important divide in this country is between conservatives and liberals, but the real divide is between the powerful few and the working-class majority. Our democracy works very well for the few, but it has stopped working for the many – the everyday people who work long hours to barely make ends meet.

Our campaign is the lone voice in this primary election standing up to corrupt corporate rule. We champion publicly financing elections, overturning Citizens United, banning Congress members from lobbying or trading stocks, and much more.

While myriad issues demand our attention, they are but symptoms of a deeper malaise – the usurpation of democracy by Big Money. Only when we solve this core issue and take back our democracy can we begin to deal with everything else.

Please do what you can to support our campaign so that we can begin to build a democracy that works for all of us, not just the powerful few.

Related Off-site Links:
Biden Should Debate Marianne Williamson – Mahi Vyas (The Michigan Daily, October 19, 2023).
Israel and Hamas: An Eye for an Eye Leaves Everyone Dead – Marianne Williamson (Transform, October 13, 2023).
Marianne Williamson on the Path to the Presidency – Nicola Smith (Dartmouth News, October 4, 2023).
Marianna Williamson Slams Cable News for Ignoring RFK Jr, Her Challenge to BidenRising (August 27, 2023).
Who Is 2024 Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson? – Catherine Garcia (The Week, August 22, 2023).
Democratic Candidate Marianne Williamson Says Network TV Won’t Cover Her CampaignTMZ (August 18, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Wants to Debate Joe Biden So Democrats Can See Options for President – Addison Lathers (Des Moines Register, August 12, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Polling at 10% Among DemocratsOn Balance (August 12, 2023).
Marianne Williamson on Winning Over Undecided Democrats – Liz Jassin (News Nation, August 11, 2023).
Why Marianne Williamson Is Running for President Again in 2024 – Lee DeVito (Detroit Metro Times, July 10, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Answers Voter Questions in “Conversation with the Candidate” – WMUR-TV (June 30, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Is Wowing Gen Z on TikTok. But Could She Beat Biden in the Polls? – Brendan Rascius (McClatchy DC, June 13, 2023).
Marianne Williamson: United States Needs a Fundamental “Economic U-turn”Sky News (June 17, 2023).
Debate Us, Mr. President – Marianne Williamson (Newsweek, May 31, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Blasts DNC for Doing Everything to “Make It Easier” for Biden – Ryan King (Washington Examiner, May 29, 2023).
For Marianne Williamson, the Bernie Sanders Lane Looks Wide Open – Mini Racker (TIME, May 25, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Wants to Introduce a New Politics to DC – Maximillian Alvarez (The Real News Network, May 18, 2023).
How Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Compare to Biden on 6 Key Issues – Andrew Stanton (Newsweek, May 15, 2023).
Marianne Williamson: From Third Way to Third Eye – Chris Lehmann (The Nation, May 15, 2023).
Marianne Williamson: Democrats Need a “Genuine Economic Alternative” to Beat the GOP in 2024 – David Sirota (Jacobin, May 5, 2023).
Marianne Williamson on Her 2024 Presidential Bid – C-SPAN (May 4, 2023).
Why Biden May Have to Forfeit the First Contest in His Re-election Bid to Marianne Williamson or RFK Jr. – Alex Seitz-Wald (NBC News, April 27, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Is Serious About Running a Progressive Campaign for President – Liza Featherstone (Jacobin, April 27, 2023).
DNC Shields Biden, Refuses to Hold Primary Debates, Silences RFK Jr and Marianne WilliamsonRising (April 24, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Made a Campaign Stop in Detroit Where She Railed Against the 1%. The Media Didn’t Cover It – Michael Betzold (Metro Times, April 25, 2023).
The Case for Marianne Williamson – Zach Courtney (The Minnesota Daily, April 20, 2023).
Democratic Presidential Longshot Marianne Williamson on Challenging Biden: “We Should Have as Many People Running in an Election as Feel Moved” – Victor Reklaitis (Market Watch, April 15, 2023).
Marianne Williamson, Fusing Bernie Sanders and (Early) Jordan Peterson, Is Taking Over TikTok – Ryan Grim (The Intercept, April 14, 2023).
Meet Eris, the Goddess Behind the Force That Is Marianne Williamson – Rayner Jae Liu (Medium, April 8, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Says Democrats Need to Fix “Unjust” Economy to Win – Andrew Stanton (Newsweek, March 12, 2023).

See also: Marianne 2024 Official Site | About | Issues | News | Events | Blog | Donate

For The Wild Reed’s coverage of Marianne Williamson's 2024 presidential campaign, see the following chronologically-ordered posts:
Marianne 2024
Marianne Williamson Launches 2024 Presidential Campaign
Progressive Perspectives on Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Run
More Progressive Perspectives on Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Run
Ben Burgis: Quote of the Day – March 10, 2023
Despite the Undemocratic Antics of the DNC, Marianne Williamson Plans on “Winning the Nomination”
The Biblical Roots of “From Each According to Ability; To Each According to Need”
Marianne Williamson on The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton – 05/30/23
Marianne Williamson’s Economic Bill of Rights
Three Progressive Voices on the War in Ukraine
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – June 27, 2023
Marianne Williamson on The Issue Is with Elex Michaelson – 07/20/23
Voters, Not the DNC, Should Choose the Nominee
Marianne Williamson in New Hampshire
Marianne Williamson: “Repairing Our Hearts Is Essential to Repairing Our Country”
Marianne Williamson on Trump’s Day in Court
Marianne Williamson on News Nation – 08/25/23
Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Joins NYC’s March to End Fossil Fuels
Marianne Williamson on Your World – 10/6/23
Marianne Williamson’s “Radical Idea” of Putting People First

See also:
Marianne Williamson: “We Must Challenge the Entire System”
Marianne Williamson on the Current Condition of the U.S.
Marianne Williamson’s Politics of Love: The Rich Roll Interview
Now Here’s a Voice I’d Like to Hear Regularly on the Sunday Morning Talk Shows
A Deeper Perspective on What’s Really Attacking American Democracy
Marianne Williamson on the Tenth Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street
“Two of the Most Dedicated and Enlightened Heroes of Present Day America”
Deep Gratitude
“A Beautiful Message, So Full of Greatness”
Marianne Williamson: “Anything That Will Help People Thrive, I’m Interested In”
Caitlin Johnstone: “Status Quo Politicians Are Infinitely ‘Weirder’ Than Marianne Williamson”